Office 365 New Group features

Microsoft is working hard to update Office 365 by adding new features and improving the overall user experience. One of my favorite changes is that (in most cases) it is no longer required to save changes and updates. A great number of actions no longer require the user to press a save or conformation button. This will prevents a lot of information being lost and speeds up work noticeable. It may seem a small change, but it has a great impact.

Copy document between libraries
With the modern library located on the One Drive it is possible to copy documents to libraries located on Groups. I expect this will be added to all the modern libraries, for now it only works on One Drive and only the copy action. The move action can only be used within modern libraries, not across groups.


Changing views
Changing existing views can be done fast and with great ease. Change the width of columns, sort order, filters, move columns and save the changes. Both the owner and member of the group are able to change the public views.


Full options in Groups
Group have been enhanced with the possibility to create new list, libraries and pages. This will create the possibility to create advanced team sites (groups) with full collaboration options.

Pages within Groups
With a simple click a new site page can be created and with a user friendly interface the user can change the page. Image, documents, embedded content and even video’s are added through a easy to use menu. It is still possible to create wiki and web part pages through the new item action on the Site Pages library, the layout of these pages are not changed.


Guest users
It is now possible to add external users to the group. For some features the users experience will be different for guest users, but they are able to be a full member of the group.


Office 365 Planner

Microsoft introduced a new feature in Office 365 to preview, it is called Planner. The planner is closely connected to Office 365 Groups. The planner is used to create new plans, organize and assign tasks, share files, chat about what you’re working on, and get updates on progress. Planner can be used to manage a marketing event, brainstorm new product ideas, track a school project, prepare for a customer visit, or just organize your team more effectively.

Intro Planner

For every new plan a corresponding group will be created. The group is used to store documents, information and grand access. The start page shows all the progress off all your tasks from all plans and groups. This makes it easy to see what you need to do.


The start page provided the navigation links to all your plans and groups. New plans can be created from this location.


The interface is very modern and simply. Drag and drop task to change the task status or assign users. All changed are saved automatically with pressing a save or confirmation button.


Every plan contains two pages, a board page and a charts page. The board page is the workings-man’s page. Here you created new tasks, complete tasks and create new buckets.

The charts page is to follow the overall progress of the plan.


SharePoint Online: Search refiners and searchable columns

Adding search refiners and creating searchable columns with SharePoint Online is a little bit different then with SharePoint 2013 on premise. In this blog post I will explain how to add search refiners and how to make custom columns searchable. There are 5 major parts we need to implement;

  • Create a custom column
  • Add some content
  • Map a crawled property to a refinable managed property
  • Created the alias
  • Configure the refiners


1. Create your custom column, for example Product.
2. Create some content with the custom column.
3. Wait for the column to be added as a crawled property, this might take up to 24 hours.
4. Open the SharePoint admin center and click on Search.
5. Click on Manage Search Schema.
6. Depending on the type of column you will need to use different type of preset Managed Properties.

Managed property name Data type for mapping
RefinableDate00 – RefinableDate19 Dates.
RefinableDecimal00 – RefinableDecimal09 Numbers with max three decimals.
RefinableDouble00 – RefinableDouble09 Numbers with more than three decimals.
RefinableInt00 – RefinableInt49 Whole numbers.
RefinableString00 – RefinableString99 Strings, Person or Group, Managed Metadata, Choice and Yes/No

7. Search the related type on Managed Property.

8. Click on Edit Map Property in het drop-down menu.
9. Add the Crawled property of the custom column, in our example it will be ows_Product.
10. Fill in the alias, this will make the column searchable.
11. Save the changes.
12. Close the SharePoint admin center and open the search center result page.
13. Set the page in edit modus and edit the Refinement web part.

14. Click on Choose refiners… and add the managed property, in this example RefinableString01
15. Change the display name to the custom columns name, otherwise the refiner will be shown as RefinableString01
16. Search for some content and enjoy the result!